Poetry Advent Calendar

This year the wonderful Owen Collins (imagine John Cooper Clarke’s fiesty younger brother, with more facial hair and political awareness…) orchestrated a project called ‘The Poetry Advent Calendar’ where he wrote an original poem each day for the 24 days that lead up to Christmas.

He invited a few friends along the way to participate including contributions from The Underground Clown Club, Karl Mercer and myself.

I was door 19. Here it is: ‘Wembley Stadium is London’s Worst Nightlight’ 

Wembley Stadium Is London’s Worst Nightlight

Tonight I am candy cane

Neck bent

Rigid spine

Head hung in shame.

Tonight I am giving eyes to security cameras.

Tonight I trust this city’s nightbus veins.

Tonight I am two pints in and an Elvis tattoo up,

Tonight my bicep plays host to The King,

Tonight I will uh-huh-huh til my hips hurt.

Tonight I’m storing poems like postage stamps

Behind the protective layer of my grin

But at least my collection will have bite.

Tonight my words will drown in Belgian beer.

I’m keeping them well soaked.

Tonight the sky is a comfort blanket

Indigo goddess

A quilt I cannot let go.

Tucking in skyscrapers

Kissing goodnight the cranes of this city

On their sleepy foreheads

Rest safe til Monday

Wembley Stadium is London’s worst nightlight

And by this time we are all heavy blinking.

London, you don’t make it easy to love you,

But I still get sunrise butterflies

(I always do)

And you have such a proud skyline,

I find it hard to hate the blue.


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